Book Review: Believe

Believe (True Believers #3)
Published By: Penguin Group
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Page Count: 230
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: New Adult - Contemporary Romance
Review of Book #1: True

This is the third book by Erin McCarthy set in this world. In True we met Rory and Tyler. Sweet centred on Rory’s friend Jessica and Riley, Tyler’s brother. Believe focuses on another of Rory’s friends, Robin.     

Robin is a party girl. Out drinking more nights than not, she has a few incriminating photos flying around Facebook, but hey, who doesn’t? No one is getting hurt and it’s all about having a good time. Until, one night, things go too far. After a few too many vodkas, Robin blacks out. When she wakes up the next morning the unthinkable has happened – she’s naked in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Consumed with guilt, Robin stops drinking and becomes withdrawn. She stops wearing makeup and starts dressing for comfort rather than style. Her friends know that something is wrong, but how can Robin tell them what a terrible person she really is?

Phoenix (named after River who died just before he was born – this makes me feel so old!) has just got out of prison and is crashing with his cousins, Tyler and Riley. When Robin comes over to paint their younger brother, Pheonix is struck by her beauty and vulnerability, and even though he knows he shouldn’t, he can’t help being attracted to her.

Phoenix and Robin both feel like outsiders, and it’s this bond that brings them together and leads them to fall (rapidly!) in love.

As is the case with many New Adult titles, plenty of sex follows. McCarthy breaks slightly from the standard ‘virgin meets experienced man and discovers sex’ formula that seems so prevalent in NA and I found this somewhat refreshing.

The chapters alternate viewpoints, which means the reader knows how Robin and Phoenix feel about each other and we want the characters to get together and have their HEA.

Although this is the third in a series featuring the same group of friends, it works as a stand-alone novel and there’s no need to read the previous titles to understand the story or the characters.

I did have some small niggles – Robin and Phoenix go from complete strangers to being madly in love in a matter of days. Robin has no sense of self-preservation; Phoenix has just been released from prison, she’s warned off him by his own cousin and she doesn’t even ask what he was in for. I can’t imagine anyone in Robin’s position not being at least a little wary. In addition, some of the smaller storylines were resolved a bit too conveniently.

Overall, this is a quick, enjoyable read. I found myself engaged by the story and wanted a happy outcome for the protagonists.

Recommended for mature readers in their late teens onwards due to language, sexual content and drug and alcohol use.

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a naïve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…